Thursday, June 30, 2005

The secret i rather keep

Usually when I discover a fabulous new eating spot, I won’t be able to stop talking about it. I would also probably encourage every foodie I know to go try this place that I discovered. However, when I discovered Hachi, I was tempted to keep silent about this gem I found. I wanted it to be my secret because this place only sits 14 people! So from the goodness of my heart, I’m letting this cat out of the bag.

Unpretentious is probably a conservative description of this place. The deco looks like it has not been changes or updated since the 1970s and I would personally testify to it since the first chair I was sitting on was broken, that being said, I think the outdated furniture adds to the charm of the place. The room has got an interesting buzz, I felt like a tourist in my own country - sitting at the bar counter, with the tv in front of me that only showed Japanese programmes, surrounded by people who drank sake and spoke foreign language, a whole shelf of half finished bottles of sake with Japanese surnames on them, and Chef Wantanbe who served us but spoke little to us.

There is no menu here. Just take your seat at the bar and enjoy the culinary journey that you will embark on. You can however ask what is fresh or what they have available and tell them what you might not want to eat. If you waive your right to choose, then just sit and eat, and when you had enough, tell the chef behind the bar, “stop!” I survived nine courses, after which my stomach just went on strike and didn’t allow me to eat anymore. After the dinner, the chef chatted with us for a little while telling us that there wasn’t much sashimi today because he didn’t have much fresh supplies. So I’ll be back to have a large sashimi course the next time.

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Nosh: The food is outstanding. These are the nine courses that I had.

Seaweed
When this arrived we all looked at the saucer it was served in and looked at one another. I had no idea what it was! The seaweed was very thinly sliced and served in a vinegrette of sorts. It was a great palate opener.

Macaroni and Tuna Salad
Nothing too fancy or special, just macaroni and tuna with Japanese mayonnaise.

Sea Cucumber
Served in an orange cup, chef W came over and told us to squeeze the orange tops on top of the sea cucumber. I gather it was some sort of sea cucumber cheviche. I’ve only had braised sea cucumber, so it was really interesting eating the sea cucumber this way, which was very very chewy.

Sashimi
Oh Yum! Sashimi! He served us clams and octopus sashimi. I usually avoid octopus sashimi because it is a little too chewy, but this one that I had was the most tender piece of octopus sashimi I have ever had in my life!

Chicken Stew
The chicken stew was nice and warm. Very comforting but it didn’t quite taste Japanese in anyway. It was nonetheless delicious with the sprinkling of herbs at the end.

Fish
I don’t know what fish we were served, but the meat was sweet and it was complemented with the pickled and stewed condiments and for a little extra kick, chili paid.

Eggplant
Very simple and elegant vegetable braised in a gentle dashi stock that was served to us cold.

Beef
This was my favourite dish. The wonderfully marbled piece of beef that was seared on the hot grill and then sliced and served with some seasoned grated daikon radish, fresh sharp garlic sliced and spring onions. It was sooo good.

Udon
This is probably the dish that did me in for the night. The warmed udon came with a raw egg which you just mix in and then slurp away. This was wonderful and comforting and a great way to finish off. (A little like the E-foo noodles that we get at the end of the 10 course Chinese dinner)

Pay: About S$80 per person for about 7-8 courses and a beer/sake.

Rave: It is a real dining experience. It is fun and you will be assured of good fresh food.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orchard Plaza is amazing for its numbers of little Japanese places full of happy japanese people isn't it. You've just reminded me I should explore this place more. Thanks!
umami
http://umami.typepad.com/umami/

12:20 PM  
Blogger Chubby Hubby said...

hmmmm... sounds great. Must try it! Thanks for sharing.

12:45 PM  
Blogger andrian martin dominic said...

i went there today but i think it was closed...

saw the interior and there wasnt anyone side

2:42 PM  
Blogger joone! said...

hmmm.. to my knowledge, it is only closed on every second sunday of the month. maybe you can call to check before going there.

6:22 PM  
Blogger joone! said...

andrian, if you are still thinking of trying to restaurant, i just checked and i don't think they are opened for lunch, only dinner.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous vivian said...

where is izzit may I know

3:08 PM  

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